What Is Gum Contouring? When to Have It Done

April 28, 2022

cosmetic dentistry

You have likely heard of filling cavities and root canals, but not everyone has heard of gum contouring. This is yet another dental procedure that you may need at some point.

Whether you want to be ready for the future or Dr. Dhiraj Sharma suggested gum contouring for you, it can be helpful to learn more about it.

What Is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring is a way to reshape your gumline. You may also hear it called gingivoplasty or gingival sculpting.

The dentist typically does this procedure with local anesthesia, so you are awake during it. Expect it to take between one and two hours.

During gum contouring, Dr. Sharma will take away excess gum tissue around your teeth with a soft tissue laser or a scalpel. He will then resculpt the gumline.

In the case of gum recession, it can also restore your gum tissue. This can frequently involve removing tissue from the palate or another part of your mouth before securing it to your gumline.

Gum Contouring Can Be Aesthetic or Medical

In some cases, gum contouring becomes an important part of your oral health. Other times, however, it is simply an elective procedure that helps you improve your smile, as well as your confidence in that smile.

The two main reasons for gum contouring can be having too much or too little gum.

Some people have high lip lines that expose more of their gums, making them look larger. Other people have too much tissue from infection, poor oral hygiene, or medication.

Having receding gums can be due to periodontal disease, genetics, or brushing too hard.

Gum Contouring for Your Oral Health

There are a few different situations when Dr. Sharma may suggest gum contouring as part of your oral health treatment.

For example, you may need gum contouring if you have severe periodontal disease. In this case, gum contouring would not be the first option. Instead, it will become an option if dental cleanings and antibiotics don’t produce results. In this case, gum contouring could be done along with regeneration or pocket reduction surgery.

A dentist commonly recommends gum contouring in the case of too little gum. This is because a receding gumline exposes your teeth to a higher risk of decay and sensitivity.

What to Expect From Recovery

The recovery from gum contouring depends to some extent on the area of your gums removed or reshaped. Your dentist may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribe a painkiller. You can also use an icepack for 15- or 20-minute intervals.

Your gums and mouth will usually feel sensitive for the days immediately after the procedure. During this time, you will want to eat soft foods.

Expect a follow-up appointment about a week or a few days after the procedure.


Gum contouring involves removing and reshaping your gumline. It can be done for cosmetic reasons, but it can also be a part of your oral health treatment. The procedure is done in your dentist’s office, takes an hour or two, and involves a local anesthetic. Dr. Sharma can help you decide if gum contouring makes sense for you or if you need other restorative dentistry in Lincoln Park. Contact us today to learn more.



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